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Various - How Soon Is Now? The Songs Of The Smiths (Cover Artwork)

Various

Various: How Soon Is Now? The Songs Of The SmithsHow Soon Is Now? The Songs Of The Smiths (2004)
Sore Point

Reviewer Rating: 2


Contributed by: Mr_IanMr_Ian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The first band I can ever remember hearing was the Smiths. All day long my dad would blare out The Queen is Dead on our newfangled tape player and stuff by some guy called Morrissey - who it took me 'til I was about 10 to realize was the same guy singing in the Smiths…I wasn't the brightest kid. A.


The first band I can ever remember hearing was the Smiths. All day long my dad would blare out The Queen is Dead on our newfangled tape player and stuff by some guy called Morrissey - who it took me 'til I was about 10 to realize was the same guy singing in the Smiths…I wasn't the brightest kid. Anyways, once I hit teenagerdom I got into Green Day and, well, the rest is history. Three years ago I went to University and met all these weirdoes wearing Smiths t-shirts and laughed at how sad they were - "that's the music my dad likes…ewww" was my reaction. My naiveté was somewhat ridiculed. So, in an effort to understand why these guys were so obsessed I went to my old man's, dug out the old cassettes and…well, I was hooked. I guess the music you're raised on does stick with you. Although, if I ever start listening to Simply Red (mum's favourite), I want someone to shoot me.

Now, all the bands who are getting popular today in the 'emo' scene are citing The Smiths as a huge influence and it's considered 'cool' to like them (and the Cure). I found this out to my cost when I went to see Brand New wearing my "Strangeways Here we Come " t-shirt and was accosted for being a 'posing bastard.' Loads of kids are now pretending to like these old 80s bands because all their idols pretend to like them too and…fuck it, I can't be bothered ranting about kids in Simple Plan beanies and Joy Division t-shirts. Anyways, a bunch of bands have come together to cover their favourite Smiths songs for all the other posing bastards like me who like Morrissey, Marr et al. OK, I'm going to say it before anyone else does - YES THIS WAS A POINTLESS IDEA - but it's been done now and there's nothing we can do to change it. The main question is…is it any good?

Not really.

Hundred Reasons, the most established (this side of the Atlantic, anyway) band here absolutely murder "How Soon Is Now?," which has already been covered God knows how many times by people as varied as Quicksand to Russian lesbo-pop tarts T.A.T.U. It is the most half-arsed, lazy cover I've heard of any song. Ever. The only reason it's on the comp I would imagine is for their 'name value' because there really is no other reason for it to appear anywhere other than as a B-side.

Cursive offer a glimmer of hope with their sprightly take of "Frankly Mr. Shankly," which is pretty faithful to the original but different enough to warrant existence. The same can't be said for Garrison's "Panic," Read Yellow's truly awful version of "Bigmouth Strikes Again" or Lomax's butchering of "Handsome Devil" into an almost unrecognizable wall of noise. Walter Schreifels (here under the name Walter Walter) of Rival Schools and Quicksand fame does a fairly pleasant run through of "Ask" but sticks far too closely to the original for my liking, unlike his aforementioned version of "How Soon Is Now?," which turned the song into an emo anthem (oxymoron?). thisGIRL make "Shoplifters of the World Unite" their own, retaining the catchiness of the original but adding heavier guitars and shouty bits. It's still not better than the original but an A for effort at least.

Now, my absolute favourite Smiths song is "There is A Light That Never Goes Out" which, to my initial horror, is covered on the album and is absolutely nothing like the original song. Brit hopefuls My Awesome Compilation have changed the arrangement of the song to a ridiculous degree and I sat and shouted at my stereo, wishing I had heard this CD before I saw them support MC Lars so I could kick their ass. Then, after a few more listens I actually grew to like the track - I don't prefer it to the original but it certainly doesn't deserve the derision I initially gave it.

The only track here that I can honestly say improves on the original is by The Beautiful Mistake. Their cover of "Cemetery Gates" retains the playfulness of the original but is altogether more affecting without Morrissey's smugness shining through like a quaffed beacon. I'd love to say that this song alone makes it worth purchasing but it doesn't. Download it - it's cheaper. Or, be like me and burn the CD then take it back to the record store like a true cheap-ass student.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thejewvolta (December 22, 2005)

Is this really worth getting?
I love the smiths to pieces
but
I dunno
is it worth $15?

Anonymous (December 6, 2004)

Stop trying to turn the tables on me, Anchors.

I know the names of people from mosty bands because I am goddamn brilliant and have a photographic memory and recall the Fall of 1996 when those bastards from Omaha ruled the airwaves.

I also know the names of the frontmen from MxPx, Saves the Day, Soundgarden, and The Used, but that doesn't mean I'm a fan (my choice of bands there was intentional in its variety of lameness across scenes and the sands of time, although I suppose I can forgive you if you liked MxPx in 1997 or Saves the Day when they served as the new girl who let you kiss her after a tragic breakup and didn't seem to mind if you called her "Lifetime" in the sack.)

Anchors (December 6, 2004)

Being that we're friends and all, I'm kind of worried that you know the name of a member of 311.

There are people that can help.

Anonymous (December 6, 2004)

Anchors,

You are right about daiquiris, my friend, and THAT is why they are the type of drink that is overpaid for whilst listening to 311's cover of the Cure classic at a Cancun resort.

THAT is exactly what Nick Hexum and co. have done to "Love Song."

THAT is why it is totally inaccurate to have a martini.

Get with it.

Thanks.

pacer (December 6, 2004)

This is for the SLC punk reference two comments below.

Anchors (December 6, 2004)

Daquiris are for assholes.

Anonymous (December 3, 2004)

score is for spelling humor with a 'u' after the 'o'

/fucking teriff'

Anonymous (December 3, 2004)

"Oh and let us not forget 311 turning 'Love Song' into something that would be played at the lounge at a ritzy Cancun resort while you're sipping on a Martini you payed entirely too much for."

WTF?!?!? Anchors, come on!!! You're being goddamn ridiculous here.

Definitely NOT a martini.

Probably a Bahama Mama, a pina colada, or some kind of daiquiri.

This score if for your poor descriptive skills.

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

"2) MC Lars is great. Grow a sense of humour. "

This point invalidates points 1 and 3, and for that matter, your opinion

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

A few quick points

1) There's nothing wrong with this review so quit bitching about it.

2) MC Lars is great. Grow a sense of humour.

3) This CD quite simply shouldn't exist.

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

Walter Schreifels - GORILLA BISCUITS

Nada Surf does an awesome version of "There is a light".

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

fuck mc lars

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

"I'd have to agree with that MC Lars comment. Swedish synth-emo-rap will never be a good idea."

Have i missed something or isn't mc lars an amiercan exchange student in england?

And yeah score is for him.

Anchors (December 1, 2004)

Oh and let us not forget 311 turning 'Love Song' into something that would be played at the lounge at a ritzy Cancun resort while you're sipping on a Martini you payed entirely too much for.

Anchors (December 1, 2004)

Fall Out Boy already covered 'Love Will Tear Us Apart,' and I want their head on a spear because of it.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

I'd have to agree with that MC Lars comment. Swedish synth-emo-rap will never be a good idea.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

The jawbreaker tribute was bad enough but a smiths tribute? Whats next, a Cure or Joy Division tribute by a bunch of Glam Punk bands that no one will give a shit about in a year - kill me, i've heard enough...

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

i'm surprised no one has said how much this review sucks yet! usually everyone's all over it. slackers.

score is for the review.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

dear mr. Ian,
Why the FUCK did you go see MC Lars?.

score is for MC Lars

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

"You can also find HWM's cover of "Dreamworld" on a split 7" with the Casket Lottery"

I believe that would be 'Jaded Eyes' you're thinking of

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

who the fuck are the smiths?

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

Hilary Duff sometimes does a cover of "Girlfriend in a Coma" (switched to "Boyfriend in a Coma") and it is goddamn AMAZING.

I'm giving Duff's Smiths cover a score of ten, but only because this stupid web format won't let me turn it up to eleven.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

"score is for the smiths being my favorite band ever."

And they still get 4.5 stars? Some one has their standards too high....

maverick (December 1, 2004)

You can also find HWM's cover of "Dreamworld" on a split 7" with the Casket Lottery.

-Scott

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

for the ultimate smiths tribute listen to 30 FOOTFALL's feel like Morrissey. Its an awesome song with a bunch of smith one liners thrown in.
Southpaw954

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

death to smiths covers, cause 99 times out of 100 they sound like shit. the exception being deftone's "please please please let me get what i want".

score is for the smiths being my favorite band ever.

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

for HWM-dreamworld, try the plea for peace volume 1, the one with alkaline trio-my standard break from life and the red cover.

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

Random question, but does anyone know where to find the Hot Water Music cover of Midnight Oil's Dreamland?

Anchors (November 30, 2004)

Score is for anybody who fucks with "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," and by anybody, I mean any band that isn't the Smiths.

pacer (November 30, 2004)

That hundred reasons cover was released as a single and was nothing short of turgid.

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

my problem with morrissey or smiths cover albums is no one ever covers the songs I like. They cover the predictable or rightfully obscure songs.

But if someone did cover the ones I hold dear, I'd feel homicidal, its a problem.

wyzo

maverick (November 30, 2004)

If someone had MP3s of the Cursive and Walter Walter [Walking Concert] songs from this and IMed them to me, I would not be upset.

Not at all.

-Scott

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